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The Process

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Ten questions that explain the process used to create this Curriculum.

  1. How long did the entire project take...from start to finish?

  2. How many people were involved?

  3. What was each phase of the project and how much time did each take?

  4. How did you decide, what the phases were going to be?

  5. What were the main barriers to the project?

  6. What would you do differently?

  7. What surprised you most about the project?

  8. What was the organizational structure of your team?

  9. What were your lessons learned?

  10. What is your advice to others if they begin a project like this?

 

1. How long did the entire project take...from start to finish?  

The entire project took 9 months.  We began discussions in October 2003 and completed our work in June 2004.

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2. How many people were involved?

Three

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3. What was each phase of the project and how much time did each take?

1.      Planning and Brainstorming – 3 months

2.      Writing Phase – 5 months

3.      Editing and Finalizing – 1 month

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4. How did you decide, what the phases were going to be?

The phases emerged from initial discussions we had among the three of us working on the project and Linda Eckert our NW LINCS Coordinator for the National LINCS Project.

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5. What were the main barriers to the project?  

The main barriers were time and distance.  Two of us were located at an Even Start Project in Southern Oregon and one of us was located in Portland at the northern end of the state.  This made getting together in person difficult.  Most of our communication was done via email or by telephone.  

We were also three people with very busy schedules so finding time to meet as a group and then finding time to devote to completing the project was difficult.  There were times when two out of the three of us were at a conference together.  We made use of these opportunities to meet and move the project forward.  However, this was less than ideal because even though the third team member was kept in the loop with updates, her involvement was not at the same level as the other two.  It would have been better to have all three of us meeting each time.

Finding time to dedicate to this project was also difficult.  Writing curriculum requires time to sit down and focus on the task.  Finding the necessary time to do this was a real challenge for all three of us.

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6. What would you do differently?  

We would begin work on this project much earlier.  We should have been ready to begin work on the actual project in October.  Instead we were just beginning to learn about what was involved in the project and deciding if we were going to participate or not.

We would hold a face-to- face meeting for the three of us at the beginning of the process and then again to do the actual writing of the lessons.  Having designated times to sit down and work on this project would have better facilitated our work.

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7. What surprised you most about the project?  

The creativity of our coworkers surprised us.  We each brought different ideas and perspectives to the project and to the lessons we wrote.  We were able to brainstorm and find creative ways to help each other with whatever “bumps” we encountered.

The variety of the lesson topics also surprised us.  One of our goals was to develop and implement lessons for literacy development, parenting education and child development through technology.  Our lessons address all of these areas and provide students with opportunities to use a variety of technology.

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8. What was the organizational structure of your team?  

We were a group of three.  We came to this project from a similar place (Even Start Programs) and we brought many years of experience in education and family literacy to the project.  We worked well together even though we were located at different ends of Oregon.  We all took our turn at completing tasks as they came up.  We communicated well via email and over the telephone.  We effectively used conference calls between the three of us in Oregon and Linda Eckert in Indiana to keep updated on progress we were making and what the next steps needed to be.  As previously mentioned, we met intermittently throughout the year and then organized a final three-day group work session to get the final touches put on the project.

Another member of our team was Linda Eckert.  She was very helpful in guiding us through this project and getting us the necessary resources to complete it.  We all felt well supported by her and appreciate all she did for us.

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9. What were your lessons learned?  

We learned three lessons.  First, we learned how to work effectively from long distances away.  We, ourselves, utilized technology to complete this project.  We used email communications and teleconferencing throughout. 

Second, we learned the importance of face-to-face meetings.  While the email and phone calls worked well for some things, having all of us in one place working together was the best for actually getting the work done!

Third, we learned or relearned the importance of working cooperatively as a group.  The value of having more than one perspective or one idea surfaced again and again as we worked through designing and writing our lessons.  Having another person to converse with was invaluable and ultimately, we think, resulted in better lessons.

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10. What is your advice to others if they begin a project like this?  

Our advice to others is to:

1.   Begin to work on your project at the earliest possible time.

2.   Plan meeting times when all of the group members can be present.  Initially this meeting time would help you develop full criteria of what is expected for the project.  Other meetings would then allow you to work toward meeting these criteria and completing the project.

3.    Expect your involvement in the project to take a good amount of time and energy.

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